Inspired by Texture: Easy Ways to Personalize Your Own Metal Clay Pendants and Clasps

Jun 5, 2011

I don't know about anyone else, but when I make a piece of beadwork I usually spend a lot of hours on it.  There's the design process itself, which can take lots of time and require many sketches. I take the time to make sure that my thread tails are woven in and trimmed so that they don't show, and when I have to add a new thread I secure it by tying a few good knots as I'm weaving it in. So after putting all that effort into making my beadwork as perfect and durable as I possibly can, it's time to add the perfect clasp or pendant. 

Those of you who know me know that metal clay isn't exactly my favorite medium. Metal clay and I have never exactly been what you call "friends." But I do keep a tiny stash of metal clay handy for when I want to make my own clasps and pendants for some of my special beadwork projects.  After after diving into some resin projects to make my own pendants and charms, I decided to go back to my (tiny) stash of metal clay and see what I could do.  And while looking through a preview of the July issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist magazine, I was inspired by the silver and copper metal clay bracelet project to dig up some of my old metal clay projects.

 

While I was making these rolled metal clay beads, I didn't think they were going to turn out the way I wanted them to.  I couldn't make my metal clay pieces the same size, they didn't want to wrap around themselves nicely, and I was worried about how much they were going to shrink when I fired them.  But after I used a texture plate (a small plastic square with a raised pattern or design on it) to give the pieces of metal clay some texture, I thought that these earrings looked pretty darn good!  The organic texture hid the imperfections, and I wear these finished earrings quite often. 

Adding texture to your finished metal clay pieces doesn't require the use of fancy tools or texture plates.  Look around your house for things with interesting textures like a seashell or a small wicker basket.  Rubber stamps used for scrap booking or other paper crafts are also great and inexpensive ways to add texture and patterns to your metal clay projects.

 

For me, learning not to be intimidated by metal clay was a big step!  Once I realized that I could adapt and modify the projects that I liked, it was easy to make the leap into making my own metal clay clasps and pendants for my finished beadwork projects.

If you want more inspiration and ideas for easy metal clay, check out the project in the July issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist magazine.  You'll find great projects using metal clay (even for beginners like me!), wonderful informative articles about your favorite gemstones, and inspiring projects on every page!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer


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